Welcome to the official Apple training course for the iLife ’09 suite of
products: iPhoto, iMovie, GarageBand, iWeb, and iDVD. You don’t need
to have any special background to get started, other than having a Mac
(and perhaps a healthy curiosity about what you can do with it).
Learning iLife really means learning to live digitally; you’re not so much
learning to use new software as learning how to integrate your Mac
comfortably into your home, school, and work. The iLife tools are only
part of the picture—and this book is not so much a training manual
as it is a way to show you how to enrich your world by weaving digital
audio, photos, videos, and the web into many aspects of your life.
So instead of teaching you all the geeky details of these hip tools, we
concentrate in this book on how real people really use them. We may
even skip entire areas of functionality, all with an eye toward having
fun, achieving quick success, and forming a foundation of confidence
on which you can build.
xvi Getting Started
What iLife Does for You
There was a time when your photographs were in one part of your house; your
music collection was somewhere else; and VHS videotapes were scattered
around the television. Each medium was tricky to keep organized.
But when all your media is digital—in the form of digital snapshots, digital
audio (CDs, MP3s, and so on), and digital video (DVDs and DV cassettes)—
keeping it organized is pretty easy, sharing content is streamlined, and using
the material interchangeably between formats is both simple and kind of fun.
A Macintosh is designed to sit at the heart of your digital home. It’s just a
computer, but it’s designed to make managing and combining all this content
effortless. Better than that, Apple provides—free on all Macs—software that
orchestrates the commingling of all this content. iLife is a family of prod-
ucts made up of applications designed to stand alone but also tuned to work
together in remarkable ways.
What iLife teaches you is media literacy: the ability to communicate in a
variety of powerful ways that are different from speaking or writing. Making
professional-quality videos, podcasts, and websites, and being able to combine
picture and sound effectively, is a skill that can be applied throughout your life.
Once you have it, you’ll be stunned by how often you use it, whether for per-
sonal pleasure or to commercial advantage.
It’s too simplistic to say that iPhoto is the picture software and iMovie is the
video software. iPhoto handles the organization of your pictures, true, but
once your images are there, using them in slideshows and videos and on the
web is very easy. You can’t build a box around each component of iLife. So
rather than focus on each product in turn, this book helps you create real-world
projects, which sometimes involves dipping into several applications in a single
lesson. Learning software is seldom fun. But making movies or podcasts, pro-
moting your business, or building a creative report for school can be. You’ll
end up learning the software along the way.
This book moves through lessons by progressively increasing the complexity
of the media you’re using. You start by managing still images alone, then move